CLECKHEATON cricketer Andrew Gale flew out to the West Indies this week for a nine-week tour with the England Lions.
Having also spent time in Australia with the England Development Squad before Christmas, the 27-year-old Yorkshire captain will be aiming to impress the selectors for the main national side.
Dewsbury-born Gale said: “Now Paul Collingwood has retired from Test cricket, there could be a place up for grabs and this is another chance for me to impress the selectors.
“I spoke to the selectors in November before we went to Australia and they were pleased with how last season went with Yorkshire.
“It’s now important that I can stack up the runs so that if the opportunity comes around with England, that I am next in line for a place.”
England Lions will be island hopping in the Caribbean, as they play seven four-day games.
Gale admitted that his time in Australia with the England Development Squad, shadowing the main national side in the early part of the Ashes tour, was a terrific experience.
He added: “Playing in Australia has given me the chance to bat on different wickets and I managed to score a hundred in the final game, which was very pleasing.”
The development squad also got the chance to practice with England bowlers Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.
Immediately after returning to England from his latest tour, Gale’s attentions will turn to leading Yorkshire in his second season as captain.
England Lions are due home on March 29, with Yorkshire’s opening County Championship match due to start on April 8.
Meanwhile Woodlands all-rounder Chris Brice has taken over as the Yorkshire area manager for Pro Cricket Coaching, which was founded by Gale and former county team-mate Chris Taylor.
The latest six-week course for young cricketers is at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, in Wakefield starting on February 9 and will cover batting and bowling plus fielding drills.
Sessions for six to 11 -year-olds are 6pm to 7.30pm with sessions for 12-16-year-old from 7.30pm to 9pm. For more details visit www.procricket coachingacademy.com or call 0113 203 3649.